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Vardy v Rooney The Wagatha Christie Trial Artwork

all about theatre three star review

In 2022 a dispute between footballers wives Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney resulted in a 7 day libel court case. The case was followed by many and has even been turned into a channel 4 drama and now a play. The play adapted by Liv Hennessy was originally supposed to be a one night production but it has ended up doing a six week run in the West End and is now on a UK Tour. I caught the show on its run at the Lowry when I was invited to it's press night, I didn't know anything about the libel case as I hadn't followed it and I'm also not a football fan so didn't know anything about the two women involved so I was coming in to the show blind not knowing the story behind it.

Vardy v Rooney The Wagatha Christie Trial production shot featuring Lucy May Barker (Rebekah Vardy) and Laura Dos Santos (Coleen Rooney)

So for people like me who might not know what the show is about here is a brief overview.

Back in 2019 Coleen Rooney wife of ex-England Captain Wayne Rooney noticed that someone was leaking information from her private Instagram stories to the Sun Newspaper. Coleen suspected Rebekah Vardy wife of Leicester City and England player Jamie Vardy as she believed she had a history of selling stories to the Sun. To catch Rebekah out Coleen blocks all her followers from seeing her Instagram stories except Rebekah Vardy's account.

Coleen then proceeded to post some fake stories to see if they would be leaked to the Sun, if they did she would know for sure that it was Rebekah Vardy's Instagram account that was responsible as her account would have been the only one to see the stories. Three of Coleen's fake stories were leaked to the sun, so now she had the evidence to prove that Rebekah Vardy's Instagram account was responsible for the leaks Coleen released a social media post stating that Vardy's Instagram account was the source behind the leaked stories. Rebekah Vardy in an attempt to restore her reputation decided to sue Coleen for libel, it is this libel case that the play is based on. The play is actually a piece of verbatim theatre as it uses the actual court transcripts from the court case, so the answers Rebekah Vardy gives to the questions put to her in the plays court case are the actual answers the real Rebekah Vardy gave in the real trial.

Vardy v Rooney The Wagatha Christie Trial production shot featuring Lucy May Barker (Rebekah Vardy) and Laura Dos Santos (Coleen Rooney)

The stage has a simple set up an Astroturf floor with a court room set up on it, this is to represent how the trial is being compared to a football match. In the play Coleen (Laura Dos Santos) and Rebekah (Lucy May barker) are compared to rival football teams as they battle it out in court, there are even two pundits who frequently stop the trial to commentate on what just happened and to give there opinions on the case. Another football reference is that the Judge starts and ends the trial by blowing a whistle just like a referee would at a football match. The actual court case went on for 7 days but it has been condensed down to 90 minute plus injury time which results in a two act show with the first half lasting 50 minutes a 20 minute interval then a 50 minute second act.

Vardy v Rooney The Wagatha Christie Trial production shot

The first act of the play features Rebekah Vardy being grilled by Coleen Roney's barrister David Sherborne (Tom Turner) as she takes the stand at the Royal courts of Justice. Vardy is probed by Sherborne on her relationship with her former agent Caroline Watt (Halema Hussain) and the WhatsApp messages they exchanged, this made for some hilarious moments as Rebekah Vardy switches from her court room persona to how she would have been and acted when she sent the messages to her friend. This first act was really funny some of the answers Rebekah vardy gave to Sherborne's questions were hilarious and delivered with perfect comic timing by Lucy may Barker who was definitely the stand out performer in this show.

The second act featured Coleen Rooney's cross examination by Vardy's Barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC (Jonnie Broadbent) this act seemed much slower than the first act and not as humerus however I loved Nathan McMullen's impersonations of Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy.

Vardy v Rooney The Wagatha Christie Trial production shot featuring Lucy May Barker (Rebekah Vardy) and Laura Dos Santos (Coleen Rooney)

Overall I did enjoy this play and I found it quite funny, which shows you don't need to have followed the trial or know anything about football in order to enjoy this production. having said that it is not something I would be running back to see again so I gave this show three stars.

Vardy V Rooney The Wagatha Christie Trial is on at The Lowry until 11th June you can purchase tickets by clicking on the button below.

If you would like more information about the play and see where it will be touring to please click the button below.

Photo Credit - Tristram Kenton

*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review


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